Why WIRED.com Looks Different Today

For a publication about technology, WIRED has sometimes had a vexed relationship to the web. One of the first great websites, Suck, was a rogue operation run out of the magazine’s server rooms behind the editors’ backs. Around the same time, we may have invented the banner ad. For years, WIRED.com was run by a separate company from WIRED Magazine, and the design looked like we’d copied Craigslist while tripping. In 2010 we declared flat-out that the web was dead . In 2015 we doubled down on the web and created a beautiful site built on origami-inspired logos and structured as a series of flexible cards.
  • The first iteration of Hotwired from 1994 meant to embrace the constraints of the web.
  • Hotwired 1995. There were no web tables then so the sitemap was just spaced links.
  • By late 1995 the site had added a What's New link that served as one of the very first blogs.

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The first iteration of Hotwired from 1994, meant to embrace the constraints of the web.So what’s going on with that site this morning, you may be asking? Well, the times have changed and we’ve changed again too. More specifically, we’ve changed 92 things according to our tracking sheet: We’re emphasizing authors more; the body copy is wider; the whole thing loads quite a bit faster; we’re ADA compliant. The fonts are also simpler to scan, and navigation is cleaner. (Ralph Nader will, we hope, be happy.) To put it another way: We want the damn thing to be easier to read.
We’ve also integrated with the content management system used by the rest of our parent company, Condé Nast, meaning that we’ll be able to fix things faster. Most important, our digital business now depends more on subscriptions and less on banner ads. So we’ve made it easier to subscribe . That should allow WIRED to continue to thrive and evolve for many years, redesigns, and rogue back-room operations to come.

Please poke around on the new site, and if there are improvements you’d like to see (or elements you miss), you can let me know here.

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